May 2015 Launch Report

Despite dire predictions (and some handwringing), the weather was fair with mostly clear skies and a mild breeze throughout the day – great launching weather! Light crowds made for little to no waiting for pads. Maybe everyone who wasn’t there was waiting for ROCStock next month? Lots of great flights, some “less than optimal” flights (sorry YAM, we’ll miss you at the ROCStock Magnum drag races), some cert attempts (second time’s a charm for George), and even a Tripoli altitude record attempt (unfortunately, the second stage covered almost as much distance horizontally as it did vertically).

Improvements to the club’s infrastructure are really paying off. The wireless microphone system, along with mounting the PA speakers on the equipment trailer, minimize setup and teardown time at the range head. The organization of storage in the equipment trailer makes unloading and loading a breeze – as they say, a place for everything, and everything in its place. The not-so-new-anymore small trailer is easy to hook up and tow. Thanks to those that step up and haul it back and forth each month.

While it’s nice to have great equipment, it doesn’t get that way, nor stay that way, without a little TLC. It’s pretty disappointing to see the same few people at the Equipment Maintenance parties, like the one held the day after the launch. However, those who did show up were able to get everything shipshape for ROCStock XLI (41!) next month. See you then!

Overall attendance:
Flyers:  Not Enough or Just Right (depending)

Spectators:  Had a good time


Total flights: 119
A - 4

B – 1

C – 55

D – 1

E – 6

F – 4

G – 9

H – 19

I – 11

J – 6

K – 2

L – 1


Cert Attempts:

NAR:  L1 – 1

TRA:  L1 – 4,   L2 – 1

Weather on the Lakebed

Weather updates will be posted on the web site and on Facebook anytime relevant information is available. Updates will be posted as needed. The weather AT THE LAKEBED may not match surrounding areas, even as close as Victorville or Apple Valley. When we post weather updates, they will be for the lakebed. Other sources may be too general to give an accurate  indication of conditions at the launch site. While we cannot offer any guarantee that our forecasts are going to be perfect–if you rely on other sources for information we can’t be responsible for their accuracy. We have had many instances of people deciding not to come to a launch due to weather conditions, only to find out that the lakebed had great flying weather!

(Okay, maybe adequate flying weather–but still worth coming out for.)

We can’t guarantee the accuracy of our forecasts, but if you rely on other sources we certainly can’t guarantee their accuracy.

Next Launch is May 9, with Night Launching (and a little trailer cleaning on Sunday, May 10)!

The May launch will be on Saturday, the 9th, and we will be holding a trailer cleaning on Sunday, May 10.

To encourage people to camp over Saturday night and come to the trailer cleaning, we will be keeping part of the range set up for NIGHT LAUNCHING on Saturday night! (weather permitting, of course)

REVISION: The weather should be warm and fairly calm. The high around 76°F and sunny. Sunrise will be at 5:51AM, and the UV index high, at 7 out of 10. There is a forecast for temperatures in the 60s on Thursday and Friday, with possible showers Friday afternoon. The lakebed is currently dusty and dry, so unless there is a lot of rain we should be good for the weekend. Camping Friday night might be interesting… Bulletins as things develop!

Hats, sunglasses, and sunblock are very important this time of year in the desert! Bring plenty of water and sports drinks, and be sure to drink them! Caffiene can increase the chances of dehydration, so coffee, tea, and soda should be avoided.

Set up will begin about 7:00AM, and launching will begin as soon as the range is set up. More hands make light work, so please plan to arrive early and help out.

Volunteer Opportunities for ROCstock!

At major launches, such as ROCstock in June, there are a number of additional opportunities to help out.

For example, we would like to have someone volunteer to run a raffle at the lakebed,

We always have need for folks to help out as Launch Control Officer (LCO), Pad Manager, and at registration. Each of these is easy, and easy to learn. We are happy to train volunteers.

Also, if you are certified Level 2 or 3 we can always use help as Range Safety Officer (RSO).

You can find descriptions of these on our launch page.

We rely heavily on volunteers at every launch, but even more so at a larger launch like ROCstock.  Please plan to help out!